Finweek English Edition - - SIMON SAYS -

Re­sults sea­son has kicked off and Curro came out with HEPS up 68% at 14.8c for the first six months of the year. What in­ter­ested me was the com­ment that it is putting aside R300m for a ‘land bank’. I didn’t know what that meant, but Twit­ter helped me un­der­stand – ba­si­cally it will be buy­ing up prime land for schools but not de­vel­op­ing it just yet. What it’s do­ing is block­ing oth­ers from buy­ing and de­vel­op­ing the land. This makes sense in that lo­ca­tion is crit­i­cal for schools and good land for schools is tough to find aside from in town­ships. With new de­vel­op­ments it is also im­por­tant that com­pa­nies pro­tect them­selves. But what com­pany is Curro pro­tect­ing it­self against? AdvTech is the ob­vi­ous an­swer but ac­tu­ally com­pe­ti­tion for well­lo­cated land goes well be­yond just schools. Se­cure residential, of­fice blocks and re­tail cen­tres also want well-lo­cated land. What did strike me about the re­sults was the lack of com­men­tary. Un­sur­pris­ingly, noth­ing was said about the failed AdvTech deal and most in­ter­views with CEO Chris van der Merwe fo­cused

on this is­sue.

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